When your partner doesn't share your love for fitness

Posted by Ando, 28 Feb

Dating someone who has different interests from yours is often not a big deal. But when it comes to differences in fitness enthusiasm, some couples have found coping a bit challenging. If health and fitness are your priority and not your significant other's, it can result in conflict with time.

The issue usually arises regarding what both of you will eat, time and money. Suppose this passion for fitness is a newly found one. In that case, things like investing in a personal trainer, supplements, or organic foods can make your significant other feel like you are going beyond your usual budget as a couple. You might even find yourself having a fight over what you will eat with the money set aside for food. For example, one of you might be in the mood for pizza when the other just wants their healthy chicken salad.

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Some people struggle with dating someone who doesn't value fitness because it sabotages their health and fitness goals. Friction starts brewing when the levels of motivation and investment start growing, especially if you are already in the relationship.

If you are single, you have a choice to date someone who shares your health and fitness enthusiasm or settle for the person you are into who doesn't. But if you are already partners, sacrifices and compromises will have to be made.

Here are some tips on accommodating your fitness differences in your relationship.

Don't force your partner to follow your passion:

If you are dating someone with different interests, accept that you cannot make them change. If anything, allow them the freedom of not having to change. If you wanted to date a fitness enthusiast, you would already be in a relationship with them. So, if your passion is new, just accept that you can't change them if they don't want to.

I understand that you'd wish the person you are with to care about their health as you do, and it can be tempting to keep nagging them about it.

My advice: let them do it in their own time if they ever get there.

Try being flexible with your routine

If it goes beyond the point of wanting to be healthy, going to the gym 7 times a week will for sure interfere with your time as a couple. Try and adjust your routine to accommodate your partner's needs and the relationship in general. Aim for a balance between your passion and meeting each other halfway.

If they express an interest, provide encouragement and do things you both enjoy.

If your partner decides to join you on your fitness escapades, try and do workouts that you both enjoy. For instance, if they love dancing instead of the gym, go for Zumba. Again, try and make it fun as you ease them into a fitness routine they can sustain.

Also, as you work out together, encourage them instead of being critical because they couldn't do half a set of sit-ups. Be their cheerleader instead of a personal trainer.

Don't judge them if they can't keep up. The important thing is the interest shown in your passion. So if they can't wake up at 5 a.m., let them pick their own time for your couple sessions.

Whatever you do, appreciate their efforts and avoid judgment, manipulation, or guilt-tripping at all cost. Let them have their pizza night. After all, a healthy lifestyle is your passion, not theirs. Just let them ease into it.

2 responses to "When your partner doesn't share your love for fitness"

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  1. Posted: 07 Mar

    For years I tried to encourage my partner to eat healthier and exercise more. But you're right, it's impossible to make someone change who doesn't want to. Eventually we split as I couldn't stand seeing him kill himself with candy, white bread & pop. He's still surviving. But he's now blind & on dialysis from ignoring diabetes which came on a number of years ago. I should have seen the early signs.

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    • slowpokeZ28 says:
      Posted: 10 Mar

      It's impossible to make someone change even when they do want to sometimes.

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